In the life sciences sector, defending broad patent claims can be a tricky business, says Gordon Wright.
The English High Court judgment in Lilly v Janssen,  EWHC 1737(Pat) is a timely reminder of the difficulties of defending broad claims in the pharmaceutical and life science area.
Failure to enable the invention to be performed without undue burden is often referred to as “classical insufficiency” and failure to enable the invention to be performed over the whole scope of the claim is often referred to as “excessive claim breadth” (or Biogen) insufficiency.
Janssen was the proprietor of a patent claiming the use of antibodies to the peptide Aß for the treatment of diseases characterised by amyloid deposit, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Lilly sought a declaration that use of the Aß antibody, solanezumab, which Lilly currently has in Phase 3 development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, would not infringe Janssen’s patent.
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patent claims, EPO, Pfizer, Novartis, Supreme Court, Federal Circuit